Launch of JAL and Yamato’s ‘Kuroneko Cargo Plane’ Postponed, New Schedule Undecided

JA81YA Yamato A321-200P2F

Japan Airlines (JAL) and Yamato Holdings have postponed the proving flight (familiarization flight) for their first dedicated cargo aircraft (an Airbus A321-200P2F model, tail number: JA81YA), which was scheduled to start on November 20, due to maintenance reasons. The new schedule is yet to be determined.

The two companies have started collaborating in the cargo business to address the challenges of the so-called ‘2024 problem’ in the logistics industry, which includes a shortage of truck drivers. Yamato HD will introduce three Airbus A321-200P2F aircraft on lease, and JAL will be responsible for maintenance and ramp handling, with Spring Japan, a JAL subsidiary, in charge of operations. The first aircraft arrived at Narita Airport on November 6.

The familiarization flights were planned to take place from today, November 20, until March 2024 at three airports: Tokyo/Narita, Osaka/Kansai, and Kitakyushu, with the inaugural flight scheduled to take off from Tokyo/Narita at noon, heading for Kitakyushu.

The first aircraft is a reconfigured Airbus A321-200ceo that was previously operated by Qatar Airways. It is painted in a base color of grey, with the Yamato Group’s symbolic mark near the nose depicting a black cat carrying a kitten, and the vertical tail fin features the advance mark. Commercial operations are planned to begin on April 11, 2024.

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